Winter 2017 has arrived, and I’m still making headway on the galley pantry cabinets. It was winter 2007 when we first started working on this project. A lot has changed in ten years.
Back then, a massive government socioeconomic experiment in mortgage lending had (predictably) created a housing bubble, and everybody had more money than they knew what to do with. That drove up the price of boats to the point where even 40-year Chris Crafts in rough shape were going for a lot of money. When I heard about this Roamer and that “all it needs is engines and a paint job” AND that I could buy it for $1…sounded like a real bargain.
Since then the bubble burst, taking down the global economy and with it (eventually) the price of old boats. As usual, the people who started the grand experiment said everything went to hell because there weren’t enough people like them regulating things. It always seemed to me that the best way to avoid crashing the global economy when a massive socioeconomic experiment fails is to keep the government out of the socioeconomic experiment business.
That said, the first thing to tank was housing prices and, though it took a while, eventually boat owners had to acknowledge the new market reality. In 2006, I recall a late-60s Chris Craft Commander 60 sold for a half-million dollars. Fast forward to 2015, and a very nice, shed kept, running and driving 60′ Commander sold for far less than we’ve put into this Roamer. I had to stop visiting yacht sales websites…it was too depressing. We’d progressed so far and spent so much on this Roamer that we’d passed the point of turning back. With the new Cummins engines installed and the paint job done, all that was left was a bit of carpentry.
Just a bit…
Anyway, it’s ten years later and I’m still spending pretty much every weekend in the boatyard tent. On the up-side, I learned how to weld aluminum and stainless, and my woodworking skills are getting better all the time. Which brings me to the latest bit of the project: the galley pantry cabinets.
A heavy coat of epoxy seals up the 48-year old galley floor
The old marine plywood in the galley floor drank up a lot of epoxy, but now it’s sealed up and ready for another half-century. I’ll sand it and top coat it later.
The leading edge of the vertical cabinet panels all need to line up
I used a framing square and 6-foot straight edge to mark a line that all three pantry panels will have to come out to.
Uh…Houston…we have a problem
So, my plan was to have the pantry cabinets come out far enough that they line up with the original mahogany above. But the line I marked at 90° to the bulkhead would inset two of the three vertical pantry panels. The original mahogany panel conforms to the deck, and at this point the beam is getting narrower as it gets closer to the bow. So the cabinetry will have to follow the upper panel instead of being 90° to the bulkhead. Everything is complicated on a boat…
A Framing square and two straight edges show me how far off the cabinetry would have been
That’s the line. Time to cut panels.
The pantry panel I cut last week makes a good pattern for the second one
And another sheet of mahogany plywood came out of the stack. If I did my calculations right, when the stack of plywood is gone the interior should be finished. So every sheet that comes out of the stack reminds me I’m getting closer to being done.
The second pantry vertical panel needs a bit of trimming
I need to make sure there’s enough clearance for the pump-out plumbing
Yes, the holding tank pump-out plumbing will be in close proximity to the galley pantry…where food will be stored.
These boats didn’t have holding tanks or pump-out fittings when new. The deck fitting that was here when we got the boat was for potable water. But since I’ll be using the OEM chromed bronze water fills instead, and holding tanks are required now, I decided to use this hole in the deck for the pump-out fitting. In retrospect, I should have welded up the hole and relocated it further outboard, but it’s too late now. I’ve got some ideas for the cabinetry that should conceal the pooh plumbing.
The top of the mahogany panel fits pretty well, and there’s plenty of room for plumbing
Need to take a bit off the bottom
Nice and square to the floor
Two down, one to go
The last panel has the most notches where it meets the deck
I’ll use solid mahogany stock to make the face frame that will attach to these three vertical panels. Overall, I’m pleased with how this is coming along. I just wish I was faster. It took a long weekend to get just these two panels fitted…
Merry Christmas 2017!
Next up in our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer 46 Refit: A New Tool–MiniMax FS35 Jointer/Planer!